Big effort ends in defeat
Old Albanians 43, North Walsham Vikings 23North Walsham's swift return to Old Albanians following their league defeat two weeks ago brought a similar result but this time the margin of defeat, although greater, did not reflect the effort expended.
Old Albanians 43, North Walsham Vikings 23
North Walsham's swift return to Old Albanians following their league defeat two weeks ago brought a similar result but this time the margin of defeat, although greater, did not reflect the effort expended.
True, there were deficiencies, particularly in the first and final quarters, quickly pointed out and equally speedily taken on board, but there were also many more positives.
In bitterly cold weather but free of the snow that blanketed parts of Norfolk, Walsham soon had points on the board as the hosts infringed and David Treglown slotted the penalty.
With Richie Howlett out of the game with an injury OAs exploited the missing man and wing Mark Mansfield made the touch down. The lead was extended when a flanker broke his binding and Richard Gregg took the penalty points.
Treglown immediately brought the gap back to two points with another penalty but the hosts went further ahead when a wild clearance was run back, a tackle was missed and the try was converted.
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Subjected to some serious pressure, Walsham defended well across the width of the field, forcing a wild pass that was intercepted by Stephen Simms, who scampered the full 95 yards to touch down between the posts, giving Treglown an easy conversion. With the game fluctuating, a quick delivery from a scrum saw Mansfield in for his second, again converted, and Walsham were nine points adrift at the break.
Four minutes into the second half Jon Kelly was yellow carded and OAs exploited the extra man to score another converted try but Walsham refused to buckle.
The home side lost Paul Gustard for preventing a quick penalty. Kicked for a line-out, Ollie Arnold took a clean catch, the forwards drove over the line and Chris Godwin claimed the try, converted by Treglown. Adie Ball made a break from the restart, gaining fully 50 metres, and young Stuart Lowe looked certain to mark his debut with a try but the referee decided the pass was forward.
From the next scrum Lowe made a quick flick pass to Young who did the same to Simms who crossed five metres out. Treglown's kick hit the post.
With Walsham within striking distance the home side, back to full strength, stepped up the pace and although Walsham never gave up the struggle they conceded two further converted tries in the final ten minutes.